Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Fond Farewell

Six years ago I came to this city a naive boy from a small town who thought the path his life on was clear and simple. In two days time I leave this city for the final time, a man who feels as if he has fewer answers than when he started, yet with a much clearer idea of who I am as a person.

As strange as it may sound, I think of this place as home. I truly did not enjoy school back home and, aside from my family and the pharmacy, I have no reason to go back there. Not once was I sad when I officially left, something which at the time I found unusual.

This time it is different. I feel like I'm leaving home for the first time. I find it hard to believe that I will not awake here any longer and enjoy the... quaint aspects of the city.

To be honest, I am excited for a change, but I feel as if a huge door is closing on my life. Now I am married, I have a child on the way, and I'm starting on my career in a way. For the first time in my life, I truly feel like an adult.

The other night I began surfing through my initial posts here. I find it humorous, and slightly embarrassing, my initial posts here. Then again, I had no idea what the hell I was doing.... wait, I still don't know what the hell I'm doing here. Yet you people keep coming, so that must mean something.

Six years ago I came to this city with absolutely no idea what to expect. I had no idea I would earn a degree in business or that I would become as enveloped in the industry as I have. I had no idea that I would shed my insecurities and negative qualities in my personal and work life.

I am at peace with many things that I never thought I would find peace in.

A few months ago I argued with someone over what the purpose of this blog is. He insisted that it was a personal indulgence devised only to hear myself speak. Naturally I argued that that was nowhere near the purpose of this place.

Since then I have conceded that while he was not entirely correct, this place has turned into a personal narrative. And with that in mind, the next four years will probably be some of the most interesting of my life. Grab some popcorn, pull up a seat and prepare for a damn fine show.

Six years ago I came to this city a boy... and today I leave it as a man.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Baby Names


As expected I have been glancing over baby names the last few weeks to find something that is fitting for a future little Phathead.

And I started reminiscing about naming a child in the old time days. Old time days are anything before the year I was born. Yes, it's arbitrary, but too damned bad.

Anywho, for instance I know a guy who's name is Dick. Not Richard, just Dick. My question is, how do you hold your child in your arms for the first time and go; "Awwwwww he looks like a Dick... let's call him Dick."

Really?

Hell I went to high school with a guy named Steven Stephens for cryin' out loud. What in the hell do you have to be smoking.... well wait a minute, they were potheads, so that makes sense.

The picture accompanying this post is of one of my father's favorite racers, Dick Trickle. Outside of the motorsports he's known for... well his name. Apparently when he was born, his parents decided to give him the option of having a name that would fit well with the porno industry.

Now it is mine and my wife's term to name a child. Do we go for a double entendre? Something simple like Bob? Maybe name it in honor of someone? DrugMonkey perhaps?

Maybe follow my own guidelines and create my own.

Hmmm, that does give me some ideas...


Sunday, June 27, 2010

I'm Tired of the Whining

If there is one thing my generation knows how to do, it's how to whine. I've often been told by those older and more wise than I that once upon a time, people took things in stride. My generation, so they say, likes to nitpick and complain whenever given the opportunity.

To a certain extent, I believe this to be true. We live in an instantaneous satisfaction society now and that is one of the byproducts.

But good god am I getting sick of the whining.

If I see one more person discussing what they're fall back options will be when they finish pharmacy school and can't find a job, I may smack them upside the head with a 2x4. God forbid you actually have to distinguish yourself in a way other than having a Pharm.D. and perhaps look outside your comfort zone for a job.

It annoys me. Really, really annoys me. I am about to start a job as a cashier for Walmart. Does it suck? You bet your ass it does, but I'm not bitching about it. It's a small hiccup in an otherwise long road.

The doom and gloom about the future job market seems to be saturating my peers. Sweeping generalizations are applied simply because someone cannot find a job in a particular area.

Again, it's fucking annoying.

Am I going to have to put up with this for the next four years? Am I going to need to invest in several cases of Johnnie Walker?

Or am I completely missing something here?


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just Want To Say...

Thank you guys for making me number one. It takes a lot to beat sites such as "Shemale Midgets - Little Dwarf Shemales" and "Transvestite Butt F'ing Video", but I couldn't have done it without you!



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What Is Pharmacy School

Often I have discussed how few people know what it is a pharmacist truly does. An extension of that is even few people know what pharmacy school is as well.

I have been inquiring about the viability of continuing several things I do for fun during school and often I find myself having to explain precisely what pharmacy school entails. Most people seem to think it's a two year associates-type degree that you can finish at night. All are equally shocked when I start describing what it is I will be doing over the next four years.

Which leads me to wonder if those deciding on pharmacy as a profession choice are fully informed. Often I find myself wanting to compare pharmacy school to medical school, namely in terms of intensity, but I do not want to draw that parallel and have it spread.

So my question to you is, how would you describe pharmacy school to lay people. Obviously it has to be in concise phrases void of complex explanations. Most people don't know what Med Chem or Pharmcotherapy is.

Perhaps I could condense it even more into an informative post for those looking towards pharmacy in the future.

That being said... any ideas?


Monday, June 21, 2010

To Infinity... And Beyond!

Yes, this post is about a movie. No, I am not shamelessly plugging the movie for Pixar as there is a legit point to be made here.

That being said, I'm a huge fan of Pixar movies. I am consistently amazed at the films they produce year after year. The wife and I are kind of movie buffs and I think one of the most amazing sequences ever put on film is the opening sequence to the movie Up. The fact that so much can be said without much actually being said... well that's damn good film making.

Naturally we wanted to see Toy Story 3 when it came out. Thinking about it now, I realize I was a wee ten years old when the first movie came out. It doesn't really seem that long ago, but time flies when you're a professional student.

I can't say a whole helluva lot without giving away parts of the movie, but let's just say it was beautifully done. The really odd thing is because, in a way, I had grown up with Andy over the last fifteen years, I could kind of relate to the overall story. I mean I had first seen the movie when I was ten and I was seeing the completion of the story with my wife who is pregnant with our first child.

Like I told my friends, if you don't get a little choked up at the end, you probably don't have a soul.

It was just a strange experience simply because I haven't really related to a movie like that in quite some time. I felt rather... well old even though logic tells me I'm really not.

And it makes me wonder where all of my childhood toys are. Oh Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, where art thou?!?


Friday, June 18, 2010

That's Papa To You

A few weeks ago the wife and I were granted a bit of a surprise. I haven't said much of it yet because... well I was waiting for pictures. Repeatedly I have said that I feel quite old at times and this will only further said feelings.

Thus I present to you, what my wife and my plans for this coming New Years Eve will be.

What you can see is that the it's already enthralled in a biochemistry textbook. But shhh, the wife doesn't know that yet.

So I have a wife, a dog, a kid... I think I need a house and I have the whole set, no?


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You Sure Got A Purdy Mouth

I'm sitting in the study a short while ago getting some things together for the move. Seeing as I'm unemployed, I figure I'll be useful. Soon I realize that the living room, where the pup was recently playing, was now quiet.

A little too quiet.

As I walk out there to investigate, River greets me tail wagging like this...


A few feet away lay a partially chewed, and obviously puncture, tube of magenta acrylic paint. I am not entirely too certain where she dug that out of as I keep my paints all in one box. Maybe she just wanted to feel pretty today, I have no idea.

In any case, the wife will be home in about an hour and I'm not cleaning her up solely so I can see her expression when she walks in. It'll be spectacular.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Becoming Close With Someone... In a Whole New Way

Ah intimacy. There is nothing better than being intimate with someone else no? Well then, I have just the product for you from Fleet. Have a gander HERE.

Interesting no? Now lets focus on a small portion of the advertisement;
Reasons for elective rectal cleansing include perceived health benefits, or use before or after anal intimacy.
Anal intimacy.

To be honest, I've never heard that phrase used before. I suppose you can be intimate with a sphincter. I am unsure however it is wise to buy it chocolate and flowers.... ok, maybe it doesn't need chocolate.

One has to wonder how hard the marketing department was laughing when first presented with the need to explain this benefit and second when they decided on the terminology.

I mean it just opens up a wealth of opportunities to use this phrase. It has officially entered my daily lexicon.

"Ma'am do you like intimacy.... anal intimacy?"

I hope to all that is holy that someone asks me a question about this product. The bigger question is whether or not I'll be able to keep a straight face when helping them.

I'm betting not. Could you?


Monday, June 14, 2010

Notice to Pharmacists: The Sky is Falling Down

Here's a fun fact, did you know that by 2013 the number of pharmacy schools in this country will have doubled in the past fifteen years?

Now I realize there was a pretty severe shortage several years ago. I also realize that as the Baby Boomer generation ages, there will be an increasing demand for medical professionals and that it is best to be prepared for this situation.

Yet one must also remember that it is not always wise to admit just anyone to a program and there there must be some level of high standards maintained.

Often you hear x number of students applied for y number of spots and how terrible there is such a discrepancy in the numbers. Those two numbers don't tell the whole story however. I'll use an example one of the AdCom members of a school I applied to explained to me when I asked how viable applicants usually are.

In 2008 this school had about 1,300 applicants for 145 spots. That looks like one helluva gap, no?

There is more to it than that. Of those 1,300, only about 850 actually fully completed the application. Of those 850, only about 500 actually met the requirements for the school. And of those 500, only 350 had grades and PCAT scores which really made them competitive. Thus, you only had 350 individuals fighting for 145 spots.

Boy, that sure makes a helluva difference doesn't it?

A few weeks back I was informed that the University of South Florida will be starting a pharmacy school for the 2011 school year. Nothing to out of the ordinary, except within six years they plan to have 400 students... per class.

One of the ways this is being justified is with 'facts' like this:
UF receives some 2,000 applications a year for a program that accepts only 300. Florida A&M receives 1,200 applications and accepts only 150 annually. Source: TBO.com
What they neglect to mention is how many of those applications are actually worthy of being admitted to the program. Sure, a school may have 10,000 applicants, but 9,500 of them couldn't tell the difference between a Diels-Alder reaction and a potato chip.

The odd thing is when you take a stats class you are taught repeatedly that numbers mean nothing unless you know the full story behind them. Often numbers are routinely thrown out but with no indication of where they were derived and what they truly mean. This is a prime example of this.

In today's media, and to certain extent our government, no one considers this. Right now it's More! More! MORE! It's not that USF opening a school is bad in itself, but it is that the whole idea behind it is poorly thought out.

I do not wish to see this profession watered down for the sake of having more bodies for jobs. This isn't like pumping out a cashier to run more registers, there has to be high standards involved to ensure that there are quality pharmacists out there.

Then again I'm using logic... and we all know most people don't use logic. Where's Spock when you need him...


Saturday, June 12, 2010

I Now Work for Big Evil

There are times in one's life when you must swallow your pride and chose to do something you don't really wish to do, but you are left with no other option.

You see, as of yesterday I am an employee for Big Evil (codeword for Walmart) which in itself isn't a bad thing. While I dislike how they run their pharmacies... actually I don't think they know how the hell to run a pharmacy, but I digress... I do have to admire how they run their retail business. I have studied them in depth in various classes and have come to admire what they accomplish.

If anything, you have to pat them on the back for their propensity to hire individuals with various disabilities. You simply don't see that anywhere else and I rather enjoy that fact.

No, this isn't a rant about actually working for Walmart, but more what I'm doing. You see, I'll be your simple cashier at the register when you go to leave. No pharmacy job, no fancy job doing layouts or things of that nature. For eight bucks an hour, I'll be the smiling face that crushes your bread under several cans of soup (kidding of course).

I know a job is a job, but in some ways it feels like I've had to take a brief step backwards. In time I'm weasel my way back into a pharmacy and for various reasons I need a job ASAP when we move in about three weeks.

Do I feel I'm overqualified? Sure, but in the end what's it matter. One of the pharmacists I have worked with the last six years has tried to teach me to view all of life's difficulties as a character building process. To learn form them and grow. Granted this is a minor setback, but I might as well learn from it.

So the next time one of you goes to your local Walmart in the coming month, and some young man is checking you out who may seem just a tad out of place... well that might be me. And I'll be there with a smile.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What I Do For Fun....

Note: I had to kinda scrunch the videos to get them to fit within the width of the blog, so if you want to see them in their full glory, click the video again to go to it's specific page

This is something I've been meaning to put together for quite a while, but just never gone around to it. When I mention I'm a fan of motorsports and that I participate on a virtual level I often see people roll their eyes. To them, they think it's something that's not overly challenging because they 'drive' every day.

Thus, I present to you two examples. The first is from the Star Mazda that I am currently battling for a championship in. Car info is HERE. This is a lap from Laguna Seca, the track we were racing on this past weekend. It's probably best known for is corkscrew which is a freakin' blast to drive thru if you nail it correctly. This isn't the cleanest lap by any means, but it was still the fastest lap in my division for the week.




Now I don't have any good videos of oval racing (yet), but recently they had the Late Models (Car info HERE) run at a road course called Lime Rock Park. Since these are oval cars on a road course, they are a bit of a handful. This is a video during race as I jump up from 4th to 2nd and you can get an idea that there does take a bit of skill to wheel these bad boys.



Anywho, that's what I do now that I'm unemployed. Pharmacy posts will resume shortly... I promise


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Final Admission Stats

Thought it would be best to provide my final admission stats that were used to accept me to various schools. For the original post, please click HERE is this is only an admendum to the original.
Accepted: 4 Schools (2 of of waitlists)
Waitlisted: 1 School
Denied: None
Final cGPA - 3.00
Final sGPA - 2.72
Dean's List the last three semesters

Again, original PharmCAS information and PCATs are listed in the original post, so if you're looking for those you can find them at the link above.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Fear

Fear is... well scary. I know, right now you're going "Holy shit, this guy just blew my mind!"... and rightly so.

People, however, seem to use fear as a crutch far too often. I'm not talking about a fear of elevators or other deep psychological fears. I'm talking about your fears you encounter in daily life.

Such as being afraid to talk to a patient or to stand up for yourself when situations warrant it. You know what I say to that?

Fuck fear.

I have a bit of a fear of heights. My heart starts pumping, palms become sweaty and all that jazz. Yet I get a thrill out of feeling like that and will purposefully go some place high to experience it. Am I weird? You're damn right I'm weird, but there is a certain rush you get from facing your fears.

It's something I wish people did more often. It was very typical at work to have my co-tech freeze up when I told them they needed to go get more information from a patient or to explain an insurance problem.

Once I even had a particular girl tell me flat out she was frightened to do so.

Tough. You can't use fear as a crutch to prevent you from doing certain things. Alas, too many people I know do so on a regular basis.

How else are you supposed to evolve as a person if you don't step outside of your comfort zone every once in a while? I make a point to do so on a regular basis, almost to prove that I am still alive as silly as that sounds.

So often people draw this little box around them and say, "There, this is who I am and I will never have to leave it!" What they don't realize is that if we're going to draw ourselves within a box, you better damn well be ready when that box begins to distort an change shape.

I have grown weary of people being afraid to do things they have to, or should, do. It's ok to be afraid, in fact it's healthy in most circumstances. But for once, overcome that fear and do it. You'll be amazed at how you'll feel.

And I should know, I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Showin' Your Skills

I really don't have much to say about this... just watch the drummer...




Wednesday, June 2, 2010

She May Bite My Lip...


But this is generally what I wake up to each morning. Swear to God this dog has at least 20 different facial expressions. At least she keeps me entertained.

Now let the job hunting for the day begin!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Missing A Part Of You

It's been over two weeks since I last worked in a pharmacy. That is my longest stretch away from one since I started working when I was 15 years old.

To be honest it's rather strange. I wake up each day and it's not as if I don't know how to occupy my time I just feel.... I dunno, lost. I mean when you take the pharmacy out of the pharmacy nerd, what do you really have left?

I will concede, it's nice to have time off to what I want, when I want. But now I'm ready to go back. I'm not the type of person who can just sit on the couch and be a bum day after day after day. I want to get back to bitching about insurances and dealing with pissed off patients.

In reality it feels like a part of me is missing if that makes any sense. There are three main things that keep me functioning on a daily basis; my wife, my job and my affection for motorsports (in that order of course). You take any one of those away and it just isn't the same.

I'll be honest, the lack of income is rather daunting, especially with a big move coming up. Honestly, I just want to get back to helping patients on a daily basis again. Whether its answering minute questions on a daily basis or helping solve some complicated insurance problem for them.

I swear, I'm a week away from just wondering the aisles of a Walgreens looking to answer a question for a random patient.

Yesterday I decided I need to find some type of short term job to occupy my time. I don't care if it's minimum wage shoveling cow shit, I just need something.

Granted I am excited for school to start in the fall, but I'm even more anxious to set foot behind the counter in a pharmacy again. And the sooner, the better.

Does that make me ill?


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